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Centre of Development Studies



Josh Platzky Miller is an affiliated lecturer in the Department of Politics and International Studies, teaching on social movements and African politics. Josh’s doctoral research was on Politics, Education, and the Imagination in South African and Brazilian student-led mobilisations (


Josh's research interests centre on collective action and social change, particularly in and through educational institutions, as well as issues relating to social reproduction, the politics of technology, epistemology and the imagination, and the historiography of philosophy.


Key publications: 

A Fanonian theory of rupture: from Algerian decolonization to student movements in South Africa and Brazil, Critical African Studies (2021), DOI: 10.1080/21681392.2021.1884106

(with Sharath Srinivasan) COVID-19, Technology, and Surveillance in Africa. Social Sciences Research Council (SSRC) Policy Briefs (2020)

On Epistemic Diversity, Ontologies and Assumptions in Capability Approaches’. In: Comim, Fennell & Anand, eds. New Frontiers of the Capability Approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2018), pp. 139-153.

‘O que pode a África do Sul aprender dos estudantes no Brasil?’ Em: Goulart, Cássio & Ximenes, eds. Reformas de ensino e movimentos de resistência : Diálogos entre Brasil e América Latina -- Anais do I Encontro Internacional da Rede Escola Pública. São Paulo: Rede Escola Pública e Universidade (2017), pp. 154-156.

‘Radical Democracy and Educational Experiments: From Rojava to Rio de Janeiro’. In: Smith et al, eds. Student and Youth Social Theory Reader, Cape Town: IFAA (2017), pp. 3-10.

Publications Forthcoming / In Process
‘Space, Occupations, and the Imagination in Social Movements’ (In process, Coauthored with Antje Daniel)

‘The Motivated Ignorance of "Western Philosophy"’ (In process, Coauthored with Lea Cantor)

The Myth of Western Philosophy (In process, Coauthored with Lea Cantor) - since March 2020

The basic question this book raises is whether ‘Western Philosophy’ is a coherent concept. This may seem like a strange target. Over the last century, there has been a remarkable consensus about what constitutes ‘Western Philosophy’. We find recurring, roughly similar patterns of characters and narratives throughout university courses, prominent Histories of Western Philosophy (both academic and popular), TV programmes, and even more recently, YouTube channels. Despite its popularity, seeming stability, and apparent unassailability, this book argues that ‘Western philosophy’  lacks the theoretical and historical foundation which academics and pundits seem so confident about. Throughout this book, we intend to show the limitations of understanding philosophy through the lens of ‘Western Philosophy’, or in contrast thereto. Acknowledging these limitations opens new pathways from many of the issues currently facing philosophy, in academia and beyond.

Teaching and Supervisions

Josh is the coordinator and lecturer for the half-paper on Social Movements and Development (Paper 360) for the MPhil in Development Studies, a lecturer for the paper on African Politics (POL15) for undergraduates in the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), and gives undergraduate supervisions in sociology and politics, specifically on Comparative Political Economy of Latin America (POL4E), Modern Societies: Global Social Problems (SOC3), and African Politics (POL15).

Josh has previously co-organised public education ‘teach-out’ programmes for UCU, and taught on social movements and international relations (University of Cambridge), Latin American social movements (School of Advanced Study, University of London), and political philosophy (University of Cape Town).

Affiliated Lecturer, Centre of Development Studies / POLIS
BSocSci(Hons) (University of Cape Town)
MPhil, PhD (University of Cambridge)
Currently not taking PhD students
Dr Josh Platzky Miller

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